Scientists have stumbled across a “supercolony” of penguins on an island in the Antarctic Peninsula relatively untouched by human activity.
Using a combinations of drones, satellite imagery and visits to the remote archipelago called the Danger Islands, the team of international researchers were able to count the number of Adelie penguins residing there.
The results reveal there are around 751,527 pairs of the penguin species – the largest population on the Antarctic Peninsula – but more importantly, they also appear not to have suffered the population declines experienced by neighboring colonies.
A novel experiment pitted a drone against experienced wildlife spotters to estimate the size of faux flocks.
Two-thousand rubber duckies would make for a pretty epic bath. Or in this case, a first-of-its-kind science experiment. Ecologist Jarrod Hodgson used thousands of rubber duck decoys in a new competitive experiment that matched experienced ecologists against a drone to see which counts wildlife more accurately.
A man’s decision to disobey the rules cost him dearly when he was banned from the Kruger National Park for life for operating a drone.
The guest, whose identity is not known, flew his drone over a troop of baboons earlier this month. Two visitors to the park, busy watching hippos at Nhlanganini Dam in the northern region, saw baboons going for a drink when the man nearby got out of his car and sent his drone up in the air to obtain video footage. When confronted, he claimed that he did not receive a memo warning of its illegality. The visitors took photos as proof and immediately reported it to the nearest camp, Letaba. As he was about to leave, he was greeted by the park’s protection services and the South Africa Police Service, laying in wait at the Phalaborwa Gate.
Poachers illegally hunting elephants and rhinoceroses under cover of darkness may soon find themselves being tracked by “Predator” vision drones armed with artificial intelligence. The new AI system that enables surveillance drones to automatically detect both humans and animals could help conservation experts and rangers protect endangered wildlife starting in 2018.
A wildlife conservation group called Air Shepherd has already tested the AI system in a field demonstration and hopes to eventually expand such operations to various national parks in Africa.